Comparing Your Performance in BrainHQ

About 10,000 BrainHQ participants of different ages and backgrounds have reported their demographic information including age, gender, and education level. We can now use this information to provide feedback on how an individual’s performance compares to others in a similar demographic.

It’s well known that as we age our ability to hear, see, encode, remember, attend to and make decisions about the stimuli in our environment gradually decreases. Not surprisingly, these changes were clearly visible in performance on the different training tasks available in BrainHQ. In each of the 723 levels of BrainHQ exercises, average performance declined across the age range that we considered (from about 20 to about 100).

he figure on the right shows a typical pattern, displaying participants’ best threshold values on one level of the Eye for Detail exercise. As you can see, there is a wide variability in performance at each age, but on average (roughly shown by the green line) there is a slow, consistent decline with age.

We also asked you to provide a few other bits of demographic information, including your gender and educational background. With a few exceptions, differences were not seen related to these variables.

What does my score mean?

As you can see from the display above, even within a given age range there is a fair bit of variability in performance on the task. Your percentile score within a given group roughly corresponds to the proportion of people in that group that you are performing better than or equal to. The blue dot on the left shows a 25-year-old with a score slightly above average (shown by the green line) for 25-year-olds. This score ranks that person in about the 60th percentile. The same score for a 75-year-old (the blue dot on the right), comes in closer to the 80th percentile for 75-year-olds.

To compute the number you see in the center of your personalized display, we simply average your percentile scores for all the levels on which you have done enough training to make a good measurement (those levels for which you have beat your original baseline at least once). The levels you have done—and your performance on them—are also shown in the colors of the individual suites (the center ring), exercises (middle ring) and levels (outer ring) you have completed. For example, the image on the right shows an intermediate BrainHQ user (left) and a very experienced one (right). Note a few things:

  • The user on the left shows lighter colors in most areas, indicating lower individual scores.
  • Matching the number in the middle, the ring is nearer to making a complete circle for the experienced user, showing higher overall performance.
  • There are also more gray segments, indicating completely untrained areas, for the intermediate user.
  • These areas don’t contribute to the overall shape of the graph or the number in the middle.

What can I do to improve my standing?

Looking again at the top image, notice again that although performance decreases with age, there is fairly wide variability within an age group. This is because age is not the only factor contributing to performance in our tasks, just as it is not the only factor contributing to perception or memory in real life.

The good news is that the main thing influencing performance is entirely under your control: practice. Across exercises and also across age, the greatest predictor of the threshold reached by a BrainHQ user tends to be the amount of time that user has spent training. This is true not only at the beginning of training where (as many users have noticed) threshold scores are sometimes limited by the number of trials in a level, but even after dozens of sessions in an exercise.

Try finding the three sets with the lowest scores and go back to do additional training in these levels. These levels will often be the ones where you have earned the fewest stars. See if repeating these levels a few times increases your overall score (for whichever age you like to compare yourself with), as well as increasing your focus and memory.